Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dugout Canoe Demonstration

Barry Keegan will demonstrate making dugout canoes and display portable scale models noon-4 p.m. May 31 at riverside park, Crailo State Historic Site. Admission is free.

Missing Teen

Times-Union: Rensselaer man reports daughter missing
City police are looking for a missing teenager who they fear may harm herself.
CBS6: Rensselaer Police investigate report of missing teen girl
Marissa Nicole Boucher, 17, was reported missing at 1:30 a.m., around an hour after her father last saw her.
UPDATE 5/30/09: Times-Union: Missing Rensselaer Girl Located

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29, 1909 - Herring Fishing

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].



Catch During the Past Few Years Has Been Slowly Dwindling, Possibly Due to the Contamination

Peter Gregory and other "Bath" fishermen are about ready to begin their season's work of catching herring. There are about half a dozen men living in Upper Rensselaer who make it a practice each year to set nets in the river and to catch teh wily fishes that have so many bones, but which are, withal, very good eating.


Of late years the industry has dwindled and men who have engaged in it have gone into other business. Herring cannot be caught when the water is high because the nets cannot be properly set. The season usually opens early in May but at that time there was a heavy freshet in the river and the men could not go to work. However, everything is now in readiness adn the work will start just as soon as the water is down where the fishermen believe it ought to be.

Time was when the herring industry brought good money for those who engaged in it, but of late years the herring have been runnign rather short. This may be due to the contamination of the water by sewers or from the fact that dykes built along the river have not permitted the fish to get to their old spawing grounds.

At any rate there are not so many herring in the river as there have been, but there are enough to keep the Upper Rensselaer fishermen busy for a number of weeks during the catching season.


Sturgeon are also disappearing from the upper Hudson and it is rare in these days that any of this sort are found in the nets. Last year but one sturgeon was caught and the year before only a few were obtained. Shad, however, are found usually as well as the herring. Time was when farmers used to purchase the fish by the barrel and salt them down but of late years the herring caught have been sold to peddlers and thus they reach the consumer.

A few days ago a 300 pound sturgeon was caught near Lagoon Island.

The New International Encyclopedia of 1906 says: "Lagoon Island, in the Hudson, midway between Troy and Albany, is a popular resort, with bath houses, athletic grounds, and other features." I believe the island no longer exists, victim of the construction of Rt. 787.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

GE Healthcare Ribbon Cutting

T-U, The Buzz: Business News: GE Healthcare ribbon cutting ceremony June 5
The $165 million plant in Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush is nearing completion, and the first employees are inside installing and testing equipment as General Electric Co. prepares to ramp up production.
GE officials weren’t available for comment today on who might attend the ribbon cutting, tentatively set for 11 a.m. June 5.

Fundraiser: Downey Side Adoption Agency

Irish Music Evening with Frank Jaklilsch
Saturday, June 6, 2009, 7:00pm
St. Joseph's Church Hall, 1615 Third Street, Rensselaer, NY
Price: $20.00/ticket

Join us for an evening of music, singing, and fun for the entire family! Dinner provided: baked ziti, tossed salad, Italian bread, dessert, and soft drinks

For tickets please contact Mickey Kayser at (518) 641-6810 or email :

From their web site: Downey Side is the only national adoption agency exclusively devoted to recruiting families for youth 7 to 17 years old who need permanent families.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Library Talk - Solar is Simple

Solar is Simple

Thinking about using solar energy for your home or small business? Come to this seminar to get your questions answered. George McLachlan of groSolar will discuss how to set up solar energy.

Where: Rensselaer Public Library [810 Broadway]
When: Wednesday, June 3, 7 p.m.
Price: Free
Phone: 462-1193

According to their web site, groSolar's Albany office is currently hiring for a "Solar PhotoVoltaic & Thermal Installer", which involves working on both the mechanical and electrical side of installing solar electric, solar hot water and solar hot air systems. (Qualifications include "No fear of heights".)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Firefighter Examination

Recent ad in the Times-Union:

The City of Rensselaer Civil Service Commission will hold an entry level Firefighter Examination on June 27, 2009. Applications are available in the City Clerk's Office on the second floor of the Rensselaer City Hall at 62 Washington Street, Rensselaer, NY 12144. For information call the city of Rensselaer Civil Service Commission's office at (518) 462-0419 or email

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day - Family Story

Rensselaer's Memorial Day Parade is today at 2 p.m. , and starts on Washington Avenue.

Capital News 9: A family affair [story & video]
RENSSELAER, N.Y. -- It's truly a family affair with the Seney family. Three of the men in the family are serving our country. A Father, a son and a brother joined the military, all at different times, but just the same, a supreme sacrifice.

Army National Guard soldier SGM Dan Seney held a surprise deployment party for his son PFC Dan Seney Junior Friday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Library Talk - Electric Trolley Line

"The Albany-Hudson Fast Lines", on May 31, 2009 at 2pm, at the East Greenbush Library [10 Community Way]:

The Greenbush Historical Society will present this free program by railroad enthusiast, Dale Flansburg. The Albany-Hudson Fast Lines, commonly known as trolley lines, ran between the two cities for thirty years from 1898 to approximately 1929. The trolley line was only one of a few in the U.S. that used a 3-rail system: pantographs, single trolley poles, and a third rail. The towns that the trolley passed through required different rail systems for various reasons.

Dale Flansburg has been a railroad enthusiast all his life. His interest inspired miles of travel over many of the countries' railroads and his collection of railroad memorabilia. He started a collection of full-sized railroad gear in 1991 which is exhibited at his private railroad museum. Call the library to reserve your seats. Contact: 518-477-7476
The Albany-Hudson Fast line did run through Greenbush & Rensselaer [Timeline].

"Albany & Hudson Railroad Fast Line #21 at Rossman, New York" - see the full image at the Joseph A. Smith Collection.

From the history files:

Electric Train Wreck, May 26, 1901 [lots of gory detail in the full story]

Electric cars racing for a switch while running in opposite directions, at the rate of forty miles an hour, cost five lives yesterday afternoon by a terrific collision, in which over forty prominent people were injured, some fatally and others seriously.
The scene of the accident was at a point about two miles out of Greenbush, on the line of the Albany & Hudson railway.
The cars weigh fifteen tons each and are the largest electric cars built, and so frightful was the crash that both cars were torn almost to splinters. Both cars were filled with Sunday pleasure seekers returning from the new recreation grounds that the railway had just opened.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Firehouse Progress - Walls!

Here's a review of progress on the Washington Ave. firehouse, which is expected to be done by August [click photos to enlarge]:

May 19, 2009:
May 10:


4/17/09 (approximately):

Council Couldn't Vote on Attendance

Capital News 9: No vote on attendance policy [article & video report]

A Rensselaer Common Council vote to pass a new attendance policy is on hold. That's because not enough members showed up for the vote Wednesday night.

If the proposal gets the go-ahead, common council members would get their pay docked between $15 and $50 for missing meetings. The city clerk says common council members have been missing regular meetings, workshops and even budget meetings.

The video report does say that two missing members had a legitimate medical excuse.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Headstone Donated

Times-Union: Headstone donated for suicide victim
The organizer of a fund to assist the family of a recent suicide victim from Schenectady High School is praising an Albany monument company for donating the 14-year-old's gravestone.
Ted Burek, owner of Grace Memorials, said he doesn't want attention for such deeds. It's not something he does very often, unless the story touches him.

His company in Rensselaer, Century Monument, donated a stone in 1993 for an 8-year-old Troy girl, Mei-Ling White, who was found murdered near her home four years earlier.
Links: Grace Memorials Inc. and Century Monument Co.

Scrap Truck Tips at Dunn Bridge

Sounds like a scene from a movie - and the "Salt" film crew missed it.

Times-Union: Police cite speeding in truck accident
Scott F. Fifield, 27, was ticketed for traveling too fast Monday around 12:35 p.m. as he tried to make a curve leading to ... the Dunn Memorial Bridge, Trooper Maureen Tuffey said.

The tractor-trailer was heading to the Port of Rensselaer when Fifield lost control as the trailer began to tip to the left, landing on a concrete barrier and resting against a bridge abutment, Tuffey said.
Earlier story with photo - Times-Union: Close call on I787 after truck flips, spills scrap metal

Capital News 9: video pop-up [couldn't link to the story]

Rennselaer School Vote Results

Troy Record: School districts pass budgets
Rensselaer City

The $22,160, 599 budget that decreases spending by 2.65 percent and increases taxes by 1.99 percent passed 221 to 111.

Board of Education: Two [unopposed] positions for five-year terms — Timothy Spath (280), Kenneth Pratt (263).

The $95,000 Proposition to purchase one bus passed 218 to 111.
Times-Union: Results for Rensselaer County school districts

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rensselaer Community Garage Sale

Angie B's Bean & Creamery is organizing the 2nd Annual Rensselaer Community Sale on Saturday June 13th, 9:00am-5:30pm. [Note - this is the same date as River Day]. Live entertainment provided by The GTOs to follow (click for larger photo from last year).

To participate, register at Angie B's, 1204 Washington Ave, Rensselaer, NY. The charge is $15 to cover the cost of advertising. Registration deadline is May 23rd.

Rensselaer School Vote

School Voting Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. at the Rensselaer district campus, 25 Van Rensselaer Dr., Rensselaer, NY .

[I linked to Mapquest, as Google Maps doesn't know where this address is yet. Neither do the Sports Moms who drive aimlessly up and down Washington Ave. with cars full of visiting athletes. I hope the school budget includes road signs to get people from Washington Ave. and the Rt. 90 off-ramp to the new campus!]

Also at the Rensselaer schools this week, Comic Hypnotist Michael Ray [link has music] will be performing in the Auditorium on Thur., May 21st at 7 pm. Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 at the door. All proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. For tickets contact Denise Wright or Mike Toney at 436-8561 or or

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tonko to Speak at Chamber Luncheon

Congressman Paul Tonko will be speaking at the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on May 29.
Congressman Paul Tonko will give his first address to the Chamber and discuss the latest news on the federal economic stimulus package. He will present a valuable look on the stimulus program, including insight on how it will affect businesses in our local region.

May 29, 2009, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Comfort Inn & Suites, 99 Miller Road, Schodack
Members: $22.00 | Non-members: $40.00
To register, visit the Chamber's Event Calendar

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Safe Boating Class

The Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Southern Rensselaer County will host a safe boating class on May 30 at the club, 544 Broadway. This eight-hour course and test is mandatory for persons 14 and older that operate a personal watercraft. The cost is $25 for children 10-17; and $49 for 18 and older. Registration is required and can be made by calling the club at 465-3403. Class size is limited.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

ALDI Price Check

Comparison of Rensselaer's ALDI food store [307 Columbia Turnpike] with other local discount and conventional groceries.

Times-Union: Discount grocers given a price check
Discount supermarkets have been beneficiaries of the ailing economy, with the German chain Aldi using the recession as the impetus for a major push into the U.S. market that will see the opening of 75 stores this year.

Some info from the ALDI web site:
Double Guarantee: ... We back every regularly stocked private label food and non-food item* with this Double Guarantee: Quality, taste and satisfaction are always DOUBLE guaranteed at ALDI. If for any reason, you are not 100% satisfied with any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money. ...

Frequently Asked Questions, including bring your own bags and bring a quarter (to unlock the grocery cart machine - you get the quarter back if you return the cart).

Friday, May 15, 2009

1854 Railroad Collision at Bath-On-Hudson

155 Years Ago: from the Archives of the New York Times (free registration required to read the full articles, which are quite detailed and interesting):

May 15, 1854, Wednesday. Collision on the Troy and Greenbush Railroad--Car Smashed and Several Persons Injured.
From the Troy Daily Times of Saturday Evening. A collision occurred on the Troy and Greenbush Railroad this morning, by the Hudson River 8 1/2 o'clock express train down, running into the Troy and Albany train at Bath. The latter train had started about five minutes ahead of the Hudson River train, which is in accordance with the time tables. The locomotive of the Hudson River train ran half through the passenger car of the Greenbush train, which was stopping at the time at Bath. There were some thirty passengers in the Greenbush car, all of whom escaped with their lives - none, it is believed, receiving fatal injury.
The blame, we should judge, rests with the Hudson River Company - for allowing trains to run in this manner - there being not much more than five minutes difference in the time of starting both trains. Some blame also rests upon the engineer of the "Croton." He was aware of the fact that the Greenbush train was a mile ahead, and should, therefore, have run his locomotive with more caution - instead of which, it is stated, he must have been running at the rate of sixty miles an hour.

May 17, 1854, Wednesday, The Railroad Accident at Troy--Additional Details
To the Editor of the New-York Daily Times: Troy, Saturday, May 13, 1854. This morning at 8 o'clock and 31 minutes, the Troy and Greenbush train left the Union Railroad Depot, followed by the Hudson River train at 8 o'clock and 35 minutes. The former drawn by the very small and inefficient engine "Ariel," consisted of one passenger and one baggage car; and the latter train consisting of two passenger cars and one baggage car, was drawn by the "Croton," a powerful engine compared with the "Ariel." ... After making their usual delay at the Nail Works and at Bath for the accommodation of travelers, and having hardly attained its usual speed after stopping at the latter place, the train was overtaken by the Hudson River train, and without the previous warning of the whistles of either train, was dashed into by the latter, which instantly resulted in the tearing up of the entire flooring and seats, and throwing forward of passengers, seats, splinters, from the rear end of the car, &c. ...
See this model of the Croton, manufactured in 1851 at the Lowell Machine Shops, at the America On The Move site of the Smithsonian Institution.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Library Book & Media Sale

The Friends of the Rensselaer City Library will hold a pre-moving sale of vintage vinyl 33 1/3 records, VCR Tapes and Books. All proceeds to benefit the Rensselaer City Library.

Friday, May 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
810 Broadway, Rensselaer, NY

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Plant Sales - Rensselaer County

East Greenbush Garden Club
Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m., Rensselaer Elks Lodge, 683 Columbia Turnpike, E. Greenbush NY
Rain or shine, the Greenbush Garden Club will hold their annual plant sale. Proceeds are used for their scholarship fund. Assorted perennials at "dirt cheap" prices. This sale historically sells out quickly. Donations of plants are also being accepted. Please call Lynne at 479-3959 or 479-2665 for pick up arrangements.

Capital District Community Gardens - Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 8th Street Community Garden - One block south of Hoosick St., Troy, NY
Annuals, perennials, herbs, heirloom vegetables and shrubs. For more information call 274-8685.

Garden Club of East Schodack

48th annual sale
Saturday, May 16, 9-11 a.m., East Schodack Fire House, 3071 Route 150, East Schodack NY

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Falcony Cuteness

nySTART School "Report Cards"

The 2008 "School Report Cards" are available from the New York State Testing and Accountability Reporting Tool (nySTART). Click to see the Report Cards for the Rensselaer City School District (low marks for Graduation Rate and Students With Disabilities).

The Accountability and Overview Report provides enrollments, average class size, demographic factors, attendance and suspensions, teacher qualifications, and staff counts. ... Accountability measures at the elementary/middle level are English language arts, mathematics, and science; at the secondary level, they are English language arts, mathematics, and graduation rate.

The Comprehensive Information Report (CIR) provides annual results on Regents examinations, Regents competency tests, second language proficiency examinations, New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Tests, elementary - and middle-level social studies tests, and New York State Alternate Assessments, as well as cohort performance results in social studies and science. The CIR also provides information on high school completers and non-completers and on post-secondary plans of graduates.

North End Meeting - School Budget

The North End Neighborhood Association meets this Thur., May 14 at 7pm. Guest speaker Gordon Reynolds, school superintendent, discusses the school budget.

From the Superintendent's current message on the Rensselaer City School District site:
The Board of Education, Budget Advisory Committee and the administration have been working long hours on preparing a budget for the 2009-2010 school year. As you are aware, resources are tight in this economy and so it has been a challenging year. ... The Budget Vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 2009 in the foyer of the auditorium with the polls open from 12:00 noon until 9:00 p.m.

North End Neighborhood Association meetings are held in the basement meeting room of the First Baptist Church at 1101 Washington Ave, Rensselaer, NY. The Association covers the 8th and 9th Wards (represented by Rich Mooney and Pat Jackson).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Doane Stuart Remodeling

Page 5 of the Doane Stuart May 2009 Newsletter shows more pictures of the remodeling efforts at the former Rensselaer High School on Washington Ave. Recent steps include restoring woodwork and replacing the roof.

RELATED STORY: Times-Union: Tense day on Pearl Street
ALBANY — A section of South Pearl Street between Mount Hope Drive and Doane Stuart Road was closed for several hours Monday after man reported seeing an intruder with a gun inside his apartment, police said.
Richard D. Enemark, headmaster at Doane Stuart, said police did not notify the school of the incident... "It was right on top of us," Enemark said, noting he's looking forward to the school's planned move across the Hudson River this summer to Rensselaer in part because of concerns about the security of the neighborhood around the school.

Mother's Day Story From St. Paul's Shelter

Times-Union: A safe home of their own
Off the streets and with help from St. Paul's, mother embraces future
"Lentasha and her family are doing really well," said David Rossetti, executive director of St. Paul's Center. "She was pretty depressed after a while in the shelter, but she's bright and smiling now."
For more information, or to make a donation to help homeless mothers with children move from the shelter to a home of their own, contact:

St. Paul's Center
PO Box 589, Rensselear, NY 12144

This is a follow-up from a December story, which is linked in this post: St. Paul's Center.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Falcons Hatching!

Check out the FalconCam. There are two empty eggshells today. Here is a shot from yesterday when the first egg hatched (click to enlarge).

Friday, May 8, 2009

May 8, 1909 - Hill Hooks Anniversary

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].


It doesn't seem like 20 years since the James Hill Hook and Laddar Co. was formed, yet on Monday night that event was celebrated in a fitting manner at the home of the Company on Partition street. It was a gala occasion and every one present had a fine time. The members of the company know how to entertain and their reputation for entertaining was fully lived up to as any one who attended Monday night's affair can testify.

Fire Chief George D. Bussey was on hand and was given a surprise when Charles Connolly presented him with a fire helmet of the latest approved pattern. The Chief was almost overcome but he managed to make a fitting response to the pleasant things that Mr. Connolly said of him. Chief Bussey is very popular with all the fire men.
Then came the feast of reason and the flow of soul and for a few hours the members of the company enjoyed themselves greatly. ...

The company was organized May 1, 1889. John F. Kapp, who was elected President Monday night, was its first president. ...

Common Council Absenteeism

Times-Union: Absent elected officials could face arrest
RENSSELAER — A city Common Council member proposed a novel way to assure attendance of elected officials at meetings -- fine them or even go to their homes and arrest them.
The measure passed 6 to 2 with two members absent for valid medical reasons, said City Clerk Maureen Nardacci.

The city will hold a public hearing on the issue May 20.

Democratic Candidate for District 6


Troy Record: Mooney to challenge Stammel for county seat
John Mooney, whose family name is a recognizable one in his home city, announced his candidacy for the Rensselaer County Legislature Thursday.

Times-Union Local Politics Blog: 109 votes
When it comes to the election in the Rensselaer County Legislature’s Sixth District this fall, Democrat John Mooney sees incumbent Republican Legislator Michael Stammel as very catchable.

After all, Stammel won in 2005 by just 109 votes in the city of Rensselaer, which is very Democratic.

FROM 5/6/09

Democrat John Mooney, president of the Rensselaer City Board of Education, is entering the race for Rensselaer County Legislator, District 6 (currently held by Republican Mike Stammel).

Local Politics Blog: Democrat challenger in Rensselaer County Legislature race
Mooney’s announcement will be at 4 p.m., Thursday, in Riverfront Park. County Democratic Chairman Tom Wade, Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, and retired congressman Mike McNulty are scheduled to speak.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Plan Ahead - Lots of Events

Please scroll down to the bottom of the blog and take a look at the Unofficial Rensselaer Calendar - there always more events than I can mention in the blog. You can change views from Month to Week to Agenda (shown here).

This is a public Google Calendar ("Rensselaer, NY Calendar"). If you have a community event and want it on this calendar, please e-mail the details to me at

If you scroll down to the actual calendar at the bottom of this page, and click on an event like "Ham Radio - Electronic Flea Market", it will pop open an event window.

Click on "(map)" to see a Google Map of the address (assuming I could find one.) Click on "more details" and you will get a Google Calendar page with live links if I found a related web page.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Bad Audit for City of Rensselaer

Troy Record: Rensselaer criticized for not following its own rules
A second state audit in a few weeks’ time found that the city does not follow its own procedures for overseeing the expenditure of taxpayer dollars or for putting contracts out to a bid.
The audit claims the city’s own ethics code was broken when it awarded almost $40,000 in no-bid contracts to install and maintain computer systems in City Hall, city court and the police station to a company whose sole proprietor was Rensselaer’s own information technician.
(I overheard last year that Rensselaer's IT Technician actually works full time for another city.)

Times-Union: Financial controls faulted in Rensselaer audit
State comptroller says city paying insurance on cars it disposed of years ago
No required bids were also found for the following purchases:
  • $40,274 for air conditioning and heat pump upgrades in city hall.
  • $41,940 for backup generator purchases for city hall and the police station.
  • $13,237 in unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel purchases. Due to this finding, auditors expanded the scope of the review and found that over several years $238,385 in fuel was purchased from the same vendor, a gas station in the city, without competitive bidding.
It's worrying enough that the City Council could miss, overlook, ignore, or be shielded from these basic financial management issues. But taxpayers are also kept in the dark regarding to the operations of the City and the Council. Rensselaer bought $40K worth of computer equipment over two years, but doesn't maintain a single web page for the City. The City Council agendas and minutes should be online so the public could monitor their financial oversight.

The two audits are available for download here at the New York State Office of the State Comptroller. Three more Rensselaer audits are expected, according to the Record article.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Opening Day - Rens. Little League

Stories about opening day at the newly repaired little league field:

Times-Union: Opening day on Rensselaer field damaged by flood

CapitalNews9: Mother nature no match for opening day

Fox23News: Opening Day For Rensselaer Little League

Earlier post: Little League Makeover

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Angelina, Refugees, and Rensselaer

Those hoping to get close to Angelina Jolie during the "Salt" filming could take action to support her in her role as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency. The U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants (USCRI) site credits her founding support of the National Center for Refugee & Immigrant Children, which is seeking donations to help refugee children.

The Albany office of the USCRI seeks to raise awareness of and community support for refugees in Capital District, and is also need of volunteers and mentors.

Times-Union (3/1/09): Group needs help with increase of refugees
In 2009, the not-for-profit agency has maxed out its capacity and is in dire need of volunteers and donations to provide furniture, cooking supplies and other essentials that government subsidies don't cover for the steady wave of new arrivals.

A recent USCRI fundraiser is described in this article, along with an overview of the organization: Times-Union: Film details refugees' journey
"We accept refugees based on our capacity, the languages we have on staff and the communities that already exist," said Murphy. "There is already a large and strong Burmese community in Albany, so it makes sense for them to come here."
"People in refugee camps are just like you and me. They want to go home. But they can't, because they will be killed."
There has been some interesting news recently about the local community of refugees from Burma/Myanmar (I hope they find Rensselaer a welcome place):

Times-Union: A long way from streets paved with gold
Burmese immigrant finds life far from family and culture has its problems
Times Union: Prayers and water festival herald Burmese New Year
Abbot U Eithareya: Head monk at the Burmese Aungmyay Minglar Buddhist Monastery in Rensselaer. ... Community members pitched in to purchase a three-story house on Broadway in Rensselaer for a temple and monastery.
Times-Union: Spiritual path finds a new home (Backstory - 1/15/06)

Another great way to help out is this little educational foundation in Thailand, run by friends of my parents: The Brackett Refugee Education Fund (BREF).
We are an all volunteer organization, which strives to keep our overhead as low as possible so we can assure all of your donations go into the hands of those we serve.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fame: Bradford R. Lansing

Bradford R. Lansing was the First Mayor of Rensselaer - twice over. Born in 1860 in Niskayuna, he moved with his parents in 1870 to Clinton Heights. Two years later (at age 12), he went to work in Schodack, beginning his work day at 3am. He started his own business in Greenbush in 1882.

Lansing started public service in 1894 as Assessor in the Village of Greenbush. He became Police Commissioner in 1896, and then was elected the first Mayor of Rensselaer (presumably when Rensselaer was incorporated in 1897). In the 1899 election, the Republican Lansing lost by 49 votes to Democrat James I. Miles. But in 1901, Lansing was "elected as first Mayor of Greater Rensselaer, after the annexation of Bath, East Albany, and a portion of East and North Greenbush".

In 1906 Lansing was elected to the state Assembly. The 1910 New York Red Book carries his biography - he was such a prominent member of the Rensselaer community that they didn't need to mention what kind of business he ran. (Elsewhere in the book it lists him as a retail grocer.) An April 10, 1909 article in the Rensselaer Eagle said that "Assemblyman Lansing knew a great deal about the butcher trade, having been brought up in it...".

Lansing died Feb. 4, 1912, and the New York Times had a short obituary (must register to read full article). The 1912 Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York includes a transcript of the resolution and remarks upon Lansing's death.

UPDATE: Advertisement from the Directory for the year 1907 of the cities of Albany and Rensselaer